To die laughing

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3 Scopus citations


The article proposes an interdisciplinary introduction to the notion of the political world as farce. More exactly, it advances the argument that, despite experiencing the world as a joke of cosmic proportions, an individual can still create meaning even in the most meaningless conditions (concentration camps, totalitarian societies, etc.). The article traces the presence of the topic in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov and Primo Levi's Se questo è un uomo and discusses the particular case of Milan Kundera, for whom the historical world appears as nothing but a cruel joke. The treatment of the topic is framed in relation to the theologia ludens tradition, the theatrical elements of Communism, as well as the process of meaning creation in conditions of meaninglessness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)737-758
Number of pages22
JournalEast European Politics and Societies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • History as laboratory
  • Milan Kundera
  • Primo Levi
  • Theatrical elements in Communism
  • Totalitarian laughter
  • Totalitarianism
  • World as farce


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